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12.02.2009 12:34

Messi still awaiting Ruiz de Lopera debut

Jes˙s Carrillo

Although he has been in the Barša first team for five seasons, Leo Messi has never appeared on the Ruiz de Lopera pitch. A combination of injuries and rotations have meant the Argentinian has yet to grace Betisĺ famous ground.

Leo Messi’s first year in the first team was the one when Frank Rijkaard won his first league title, 2004/05. But Barša lost on their trip to Betis. Messi had already made his league debut a month earlier at Montju´c, but was not named in the side for the trip to Seville.

Rotations and rests

The next year, Rijkaard also dropped Messi against Betis. Barša won 4-1, and did so without Ronaldinho or Deco either. But three days later the trio were all back to face Italian side Udinese in the Champions League, winning 4-1 in what would be Messi’s first ever European fixture.


Leo Messi missed the next two trips to Betis through injury. In 2006/07, the game was on December 16, a month and two days after he had gone down with a metatarsal injury in his left foot, which required surgery. Barša drew 1-1, but Messi was back in Barcelona watching on TV with his foot wrapped up.

Muscular injury

Last year Messi also missed the game with the Andalusians. That was on March 29, but he had been injured a week earlier in the Champions League match at the Camp Nou against Glasgow Celtic.
Messi still awaiting Ruiz de Lopera debut
Pamplona finally sees Messi
The same curious situation arose earlier this season against Osasuna, where Lionel Messi also had to make his first appearance. He celebrated his first game in Pamplona with the winning goal at the Reyno de Navarra, a powerful strike from outside the area.

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